A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike, says Proverbs 27:15. I hear that quoted more often than not while doing marital counseling. And, just to be clear it is not only men who make this statement but also women who understand that this scripture is speaking figuratively.
Each of us have the ability to agitate or annoy (contentious) which is especially noticeable in a day that is already full of dark clouds and dampened spirits (rainy day). So how do we deal with the one who is being contentious? And what is our responsibility if we are the contentious one?
The next few verses give us some insights. Let’s first go to verse 17 which reads, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friends.” When I read that it reminds me of those times when my husband is sharpening his knifes. Sparks fly as he swipes the blade back and forth several times across his sharpening block.
In almost every scenario I have ever experienced or even heard about the sparks fly from both directions. The contentious one expresses himself and the one on the receiving end counters, one way or the other.
So, though the one being contentious is the focus of verse 15 it is important to also pay attention to the iron sharpener in verse 16. It (he or she) has a revealing effect. It reads, “Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.” I believe this is addressing the way the iron sharpener is addressing the contentious one.
Ask yourself, how do you handle (strike) the one who is being contentious? Do you say or do anything to provoke an attitude? Or, do you communicate in such a way that softens their attitude?
Oftentimes we, as the iron sharpener may be right in what we say but lack tack in the way we come across. We have to ask ourselves, “Are the sparks flying towards others helping them to become more or less contentious?” If the results are negative, could it be that we need to be sharpened? There are various ways to have a positive effect on others in spite of their attitudes. You can find some of those ways in my new book, Character Blocks.
And for the contentious person, it is equally important that you take responsibility for how you act. Again, my new book, Character Blocks, clearly addresses how any willing individual can change the way they express themselves.
Life is too short to make excuses for the way we act or do relationships. It is too easy to blame others but the truth of the matter is we will all give an account and without excuse.
So, let’s check out resources that will help us sharpen up. The Bible of course is the #1 daily read. Then there is my book and blog that offers assistance.
I sense today that many of you are feeling convicted after having read this message so please receive no condemnation but rather repent. Confess your faults. He is faithful to forgive and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. But, we have to add to our learning or we will just turn out to be sorry again and again. That is not repentance.
Blessings to you,